Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Bread and butter cucumbers.

We tend to celebrate happy hour a lot(maybe too much) when we are up at the farm, not so much here on the coast.
People tend to pop over up there for a cuppa  or  a drink, and I just can't resist putting out a plate of nibbles. I  tend to  sway more to the cheeses and pickles,olives ect and most of our friends and neighbours  seem to enjoy those type of snacks too.
One of the most popular ones is bread and butter cucumbers. I got the recipe from my next door neighbour Stasia, who is  Polish, she  and her husband Rolf who is German  have shared some wonderful recipes  and food with us over the last 15 years or so that we have been neighbours.
We planted a small raised bed of bush type cucumbers this year and they have produced very well, this is the third batch of bread and butter cucumbers that I have preserved from them.

For this recipe, I slice up 4 kilos of cucumbers on the mandolin and also slice up 2 kilos of onions and add to the cucumbers in a plastic or stainless steel container, I then add  1 cup of salt in total(I divided my cucumbers and onions into two containers, so adjust to what ever you decide to do)
I set the containers aside and leave to soak overnight.
Next morning I drain the cucumbers and onions and rinse them under cold running water to  reduce the saltiness, and pack them into my freshly washed mason jars.

In a large stainless pot I then  make the sweet brine solution, this consists of:
10 cups of white vinegar,6 cups of white sugar,3 teaspoons of celery seed,3 teaspoons of yellow or brown mustard seed, and 3 teaspoons of turmeric.  This is brought to the boil, cooled a little and poured over the cucumbers.

Once  the jars are full, I then de-bubble and adjust the liquid height leaving a final head space of about 1/2 inch. I wipe all the rims with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar, place lids, that have been simmered onto the jars, and cap with  the bands to finger tight.

Once this is done, I then place all the jars into my trusty electric water bath and  adjust water level so that the jars are covered by a couple of inches of water, place the lid on and set to hold boil. When it reaches  boiling point, I hold it at that level for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes has elapsed, I then turn off the  water bath preserver, remove the lid and let the jars sit for a further 5 minutes. Next I remove all the jars out onto a towel covered bench to protect it and the jars from heat shock.

 When the jars have all made that lovely popping noise, you know that they are all sealed, but you must wait  24 hours and then remove the bands.

After removing the bands, washing them and storing away until the next preserving job, I then washed the jars, and will  soon label and date them and store them away with my other delicious preserves in the pantry.
This makes over 40 pint  jars of these that I have preserved this year, I am fairly sure it will be the last as our cucumber garden is on it's last legs, and we will probably now only pick fresh eating cucumbers until the end of the season.
We have had a really productive  year here on the coast, and hopefully next year we will have a more established garden up and running at the farm as we  spend more  time up there and less down here.
These  pickles will be popular fare over the Christmas  holidays and my supply will quickly be eaten into.

So until we meet up again,
Best wishes to you and yours,
Stay safe over the holiday period,


  1. Those bread and butter cucumbers look delicious. I have made them once before and hubby loved them. I have cucumbers coming on the vines so those that don't get juiced may well be made into these :)

    1. I hadn't even thought of juicing the cucumbers Tania, thanks for the idea.
      You get to the point sometimes with cucumbers that you are so over them by the end of the season.